Does Tor store any local files that show history in the same manner that Windows has a Temp folder? If it does, where are they located?

  • Do you talk about Tor itself or the TorBrowserBundle?
    – bastik
    Nov 25, 2013 at 11:19

3 Answers 3


Being ignorant about whenever the question is about Tor itself or Tor Browser Bundle, by answering both versions.


Tor itself does not store any application level data, like browsing history.


It shouldn't unless you configure it to do so.

Quoting from the Design Document of the TorBrowser.

Here is what's one of the goals of TorBrowser.

The browser MUST NOT write any information that is derived from or that reveals browsing activity to the disk, or store it in memory beyond the duration of one browsing session, unless the user has explicitly opted to store their browsing history information to disk.

This is achieved by the following implementation.

We achieve this goal through several mechanisms. First, we set the Firefox Private Browsing preference browser.privatebrowsing.autostart. In addition, four Firefox patches are needed to prevent disk writes, even if Private Browsing Mode is enabled. [...]

As an additional defense-in-depth measure, we set [...] preferences [...]. Many of these preferences are likely redundant with browser.privatebrowsing.autostart. [...]

Torbutton also contains code to prevent the Firefox session store from writing to disk.


Runa did a forensic analysis of the Tor Browser Bundle while ago. According to that she found several files which changed during installation and usage. Most of them change during normal usage of the system. However there were some findings which are interesting:

  • ~/.local/share/gvfs-metadata/home -- This contains the filename of Tor Browser Bundle tar.gz (The file you usually download first).
  • ~/.xsession-errors -- This contained a warning from the window manager. So this must not exist in any case.
  • Shell history files and some logfiles in /var/log.

So the Tor Browser Bundle itself does not store any data. But some applications leak the fact that you're using or used it. Tor itself doesn't store data other than in /var/lib/tor or Data/Tor.

  • I'd add that the results of the analysis on Windows and OSX were different. OSX in particular contained a fairly major leak for the Tor Browser Bundle (the name of the last Tab you closed when exiting was saved to disk),which has now been fixed. The Research Report contains the results of all the analyses. research.torproject.org/techreports/… Nov 27, 2013 at 18:06

I know this question is old and browsing history related on windows, but I've found a tor data folder on the mac version. Whenever I've reinstalled tor, my bookmarks are there automatically. But if i delete '\library\application support\torbrowser-data' folder they're gone. Tor works fine after deleting this folder, it's simply recreated when the app starts. Not sure if the windows version works in the same way though.

Maybe worth checking in \app data\local or \app data\roaming for any tor related temporary folders. Don't know if there are any but just a thought.

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